22 Creative Ways to Decorate a Bay Window

Bay windows are a beautiful design element in a home, often native to the bay area and a big part of San Francisco  interior design. They add a little extra character, square footage, and natural light to your space. But over the years, we’ve had a ton of customers struggle to design their bay window areas. In fact, sometimes, rather than a lovely architectural element, they feel more like awkward nooks. But take heart—they’re easier to design than you may think, and this is not a design element you should just ignore! There are so many great ways to play up this beautiful feature in your home and add a little extra charm to your space!

Today, we’re going to address some common bay window interior design questions, along with some examples of bay window ideas to show you how to bring these spaces to life!

What is a bay window?

First things first—let’s define our terms. A bay window is a window space (generally made up of a trio of windows, but sometimes more) that projects outward and angles beyond the main walls of a room. This creates a “bay” in the room. These are also sometimes referred to as picture windows.

Fun fact: Rooms with four to six connected windows that form more of a curve than angles are called bow windows rather than bay windows, but overall they’re fairly similar architectural details.

What should I put in my bay window?

There are no hard and fast rules about what you should put in a bay window. But you do have a couple of main choices! A bay window can be left free of furniture and to keep the views bright and open and celebrate the natural light pouring in. But they can also be furnished—perhaps with an accent chair and side table—to maximize your space. Some bay windows have built-in window seats or banquettes; and even if they don’t, you can fairly easily build those in. Bay windows also look beautiful framed in with window treatments.

Reading nook in bedroom with two blue swivel chairs

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How do you decorate a room with a bay window?

When it comes to decorating a room with bay windows, don’t just ignore them because you don’t know what to do. When designing these spaces, you want the bay window to be incorporated in the layout and design of the room—or at least be spatially considered.

If accented correctly, a bay window can be an architectural marvel in any space. You could do something simple, like using wallpaper or paint to accent the nook, or put a piece of furniture you want to highlight in the bay. We’ll get more into the specifics later in this blog, but  just know that bay window decorating ideas don’t have to be complex. We’re big on “simple but impactful” when it comes to bay window design.

What is the best window covering for a bay window?

Speaking of window treatments—what window coverings you use in a bay window is really up to you! However, the architecture of your specific bay window may dictate how to choose curtains that are suitable for your space. How deep the bay windows go and if there’s a built-in window seat in the window nook do impact your choices.

No Window Treatment

You can leave your bay windows wide open, without window coverings, if the space allows for it; this maximizes the natural light and view, if the window offers a good one. This is a great choice if you don’t need to control the amount of natural light coming in throughout the day and if you don’t need privacy in the room the bay windows are in.

Curtains, Roman Shades, or Blinds

For a more formal look, to have light control, or if you need privacy, you can add drapes, sheers, Roman shades, or blinds to your bay windows. You can even layer two of them! Layering blinds with curtains adds texture and depth, and it can help with insulation from weather.

If your bay window has a built-in window seat, you may want to skip the curtains, as these can look funny or get in the way of the little window nook. But if you absolutely love the look of curtains, you can do it—you’ll just want the curtains to end at the seat, so you’ll probably have to get them hemmed or custom-made.

Ready to see some bay window ideas in action? Whether you’re looking for living room design ideas or inspiration for a bay window in your bedroom, dining room, or kitchen, we’ve rounded up a ton of ways you can utilize these charming window nooks.

Keep reading for 22 bay window decorating ideas!


Bay window with leather accent chair and bar cart

1. A Bar Cart Lounge Area in a Bay Window

If your bay window is off of a living or dining room, it’s a great place to house a bar cart and club chair! Use this window nook to mix a drink and then kick back and enjoy this classy place to relax.

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bay window bedroom with seating nook

2. Seating Nook in Bedroom

We love the idea of utilizing a bay window in a bedroom for a cute seating nook. Depending on how large it is, you can add one or two chairs, along with a side table and lamp to fill it out and add an extra touch of practicality.

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Bay window with a coastal style eat-in kitchen

3. A Bay Window Breakfast Nook

A bay window in a kitchen is the perfect place to set up a cute breakfast nook. You could create built-in banquettes or benches, or simply add a freestanding bench. A round table makes the most sense for a rounded bay window to help you fully utilize the space.

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Bay window with boho reading nook

4. A Casual Bay Window Reading Lounge

Bay window nook designs don’t have to be formal—in fact, tuck a floor sofa in your window nook and you have a great casual place to lounge! This is a great design approach if you have teenagers. The floor sofa feels laid back, creating a cool lounge area that’s flooded with natural light.

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Bay window with bench seat and plants

5. A Window Seating Nook with Plants

This built-in window seat is perfect for reading or lounging near the window and soaking up the natural light. Hanging some plants and layering in some other leafy floor plants is a great way to make this nook even more inviting. Plus, the plants will thrive in the light from the windows!

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bay window dining room

6. A Dining Room with a Bay Window

A large bay window in a dining room can easily house a large dining table. You could have chairs around the full table or, as we did here, place a bench on the side of the table closest to the window to keep the views unobstructed.

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Coastal bay window with sophisticated seating area

7. A Console Tucked into a Bay Window Nook

You can have a bay window seating area without tucking the chairs fully into the window nook. We like the idea of floating a pair of chairs away from the bay window but leaving a console in the window nook. This adds visual depth to your conversation area. Adding lamps or candles to the top of the console is a nice touch, making the view from outside extra cozy.

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Working nook for kids with child\'s desk and pink walls

8. A Kids Homework Space in a Window Nook

This type of window nook is a great place for kids to work on homework, do homeschooling activities, or even work on crafts. A small desk fits perfectly in this space and creates a little ‘room’ without being closed off.

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Rustic living room with leather chesterfield sofa

9. A Sofa in a Bay Window

With a bay window in the living room, you can use every inch of the space by putting the sofa in the bay. It can make the space feel more open because the sofa is tucked into the bay, giving you a little extra square footage in your space for a more robust seating area.

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Eclectic living room with bright yellow sofa and carved wooden stools in front of a fireplace

10. A Sofa in Front of a Bay Window

If you have a bay window in your living room but your sofa is too long to tuck into the window nook, you can simply have the back of the sofa to the bay window. The window offers a nice frame for your sofa, without the furniture setup feeling cramped, and makes a pretty backdrop for this main piece of living room furniture.

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bay window glam home office

11. An Executive-Style Bay Window

Like the idea of working with a view? The floating desk sits centered in front of the windows, making the view out of the bay window the focal point in this design. Contrasting drapes on the outer windows frame in the view.

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Neutral bedroom design with striped jute rug and white dresser

12. A Bed in a Bay Window

Have a bay window or window nook in your bedroom? Skip a headboard and use your windows as a pseudo-headboard! Situating your bed in the bay will saturate your bed in natural light each morning while creating a cozy nook that frames in the bed.

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Extra nook in room used for exercise room

13. A Window Nook Workout Zone

This window nook is the perfect size for workout equipment, giving you a dedicated space for home workouts. You can either keep your equipment contained to the nook itself, or spill out into the adjoining room a bit to give yourself more space to stretch out. Either way, it creates a nice space to have as a zoned exercise area.

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Playroom nook decorated in soft yellow and white colors

14. A Window Nook Play Area for Kids

Bay window nooks like this can be a tight squeeze for furniture—but they’re great for kids stuff, since kids furniture is scaled down! This type of space can contain kids toys and give them their own little ‘room’ to play in.

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bay window double sided living room

15. A Bay Window Seating Nook to Take in the Views

Don’t want to waste the views out your bay windows by having your sofa face away from them? If you have a large enough living room, push your sofa more toward the center of the room. Then add some seating that backs up to your sofa and looks out toward the view. While a bit of a nontraditional layout, this setup takes advantage of the views while still giving your a robust seating area in the main part of the living room.

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Bay window with upholstered bench and long profile bookcase

16. A Bench in a Bay Window

A small upholstered bench fits in this smaller bay window. The addition of a pillow and sheepskin rug makes it a cozy reading nook. Simply add a bookcase nearby for a place to store a lamp and books for reading.

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Bay window with grand piano

17. A Bay Window Piano Space

Grand Pianos are just that—grand. And they deserve to have a special place in the spotlight. With their curved backs, it makes sense to nestle them in a large bay window, not only making great use of the space but creating a lovely music area.

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Bay window with hanging macrame chair

18. A Bay Window With a Hanging Chair

Hanging chair in a bay adds a carefree and casual hangout/seating area in your home. Pair it with a pouf, plant, and geometric rug to play up the boho vibes and complete the look. It makes a great place to soak up some sunshine while curling up with a good book.

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Bay window with chaise lounge and floor mirror

19. A Bedroom Bay Window “Dressing Room”

Adding a chaise lounge and a full-length floor mirror in your bedroom creates some fancy dressing room vibes. This is a great option for large bedrooms or spaces off a bedroom that have open bay windows.

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Plant corner with tiered plant stands

20. A Bay Window Greenhouse

Want to transform a corner of your home into a conservatory full of plants? Use your bay window nook as a makeshift greenhouse for houseplants that need plenty of light. Add a humidifier to the corner to keep those tropical plants happy!

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bistro table in kitchen with pink patterned chairs

21. An In-Kitchen Bay Window Dining Nook

If you have a bay window in your kitchen but don’t have room for a full breakfast nook, consider creating a mini breakfast spot, with just a bistro table and pair of chairs. It’s a great place for enjoying coffee and a light breakfast—perfect for a small eat-in kitchen area.

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Bay window painting area with bar cart for art supplies and an easel

22. A Bay Window Painting Nook

Do you have artistic inclinations? Set up an easel looking out your window and get inspired by the views. To keep your paint and supplies nearby, set them up in a bar cart, which can be moved around as needed (and hey, maybe keep a bottle of wine and wine glass stocked on the cart as well!).

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5 Ways to Put the Awkward Nook Under the Stairs to Use

Awkward nook ideas

Most homes have one. And most of us don’t know what to do about them. It’s those awkward spaces that feel too small to decorate or be useful but feel like a waste of space if they’re not utilized. So, what can you do with a corner of the room that has weird features or awkward living room designs other than ignore it?

Well, we’re big believers in embracing what you’ve got and getting creative. So today, our designers are helping us address one of the repeat offenders in the awkward spaces category: the awkward nook under the stairs. We’ll show you five clever under stairs ideas, with ways to put this unused space to work and make it functional!

1. Entryway Storage

If your awkward space under the stairs is near your front door, try turning the nook into entryway storage. It’s one of those great stairs storage ideas that you might not think of since this area is likely not immediately off your front door. But if it’s nearby, designating this nook for shoes, coats, umbrellas, and bags will not only give function to this little corner—it will give all that entryway clutter a designated home. Now that’s a win-win!

Other than coat hooks, we love the idea of adding shelving for more functionality and utilizing baskets for an easy, beautiful catchall for extra clutter and kids stuff. You could even tuck your pet’s food and water dishes under the lowest slope of the stairs for maximum utilization of the space!

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awkward nook2. Kids Corner

When you think of a nook under the stairs, you might immediately think of Harry Potter. But we’re making a space that’s way cheerier than Harry’s cupboard under the stairs! You can easily turn your space under the stairs into a cozy play corner for your little ones.

Just add a cushy bean bag chair, a few baskets and bins to store their toys, and perhaps an easel for drawing or painting or a small table for crafts. With that, this space under your stairs may become their favorite corner of the house! (Just make sure to block off the lower space to ensure no one bonks their head!)

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awkward nook office3. Office Nook

Want a home office but don’t have an extra room to designate for it? We’ve got your fix. Just tuck a desk and chair into the area underneath the stairs, and voila! You officially have a home office. It’s one of our go-to small space hacks. Just be sure to opt for small apartment furniture that has a simple design. (And hey, check out our other small living room design tips, too!)

To finish the look, add a favorite piece of art for inspiration and make sure you find a good desk lamp. If you have a little extra space, you can even add file storage like we did here for added functionality.

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4. Extra Storage

One of our most-requested room features is extra storage. If that’s you, why not turn this awkward nook into just that—a space for extra storage! If it’s a smaller space, try creating some under-the-stair storage by tucking a trio of baskets in the corner. Looking for some stair storage ideas that are a bit more robust? You could also go for a few pieces that we’d consider some of the best storage furniture out there—like a storage bench or even a full-fledged credenza if you have the room!

For some added storage under the stairs in this design, we added a petite dresser to our space under the stairs to give this nook a little splash of style, as well as three drawers full of hidden storage space. We also had room to sneak in an extra stool alongside it, which can easily be pulled into the living space when you have guests over and need another seat on the fly!

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5. Reading Nook

Does any design idea sound as cozy and exciting as a reading nook? If this is the living room feature of your dreams, consider turning the awkward space under your stairs into just that! This is, in fact, one of our favorite under stairs ideas.

The key ingredients to reading nook designs? Well, it begins with a comfy chair. Add a footstool or pouf, a side table for coffee or tea, and top it off with a bookcase full of your favorite reads.

Does your pooch like to stay nearby when you curl up with a book? Tuck their bed in the corner and get ready for a cozy night in!

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Get The Nook Look: 11 Ways to Design A Comfy Reading Nook

If you haven’t heard, we’re major reading nook fans! Who doesn’t love the idea of a cozy place to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea or just a little corner to snuggle up with a throw blanket and a glass of wine at the end of a long week? Now more than ever as we hunker down at home, carving out space for a designated reading nook isn’t just a good idea, it’s totally necessary.

If you don’t think your space makes sense for a reading nook, think again. The best thing about reading nooks is that it’s really up to you how you want to design them. You can simply anchor one corner in your bedroom with a comfy armchair and side table to turn it into a reading space or if you have a window seat, you can pile it with throw pillows and blankets to really make it the perfect spot for snuggling up with a book.

Of course, finding the essential furniture pieces is key to building out a stylish and functional place to read, whether it’s the choosing the perfect chair, a side table at the right height, a few poufs to use as footrests, or having all the cozy finishing touches like a soft rug and plush pillows. But once you’ve nailed down your furnishings, all you need is to do a bit of clever arranging to create your perfect place to read.

To inspire and show you how you can easily fit a reading nook in your living room, bedroom, home office, or even kid’s room, we’ve rounded up some of our best reading corner ideas in a range of interior design styles and spaces. Read on to get our tips and see how you can bring the ideas into your own rooms.

A Boho-Chic Reading Area

There’s no rule saying that reading nooks have to be tucked away. Take a cue from this eclectic boho corner where a high-back chair, pouf, and accent table create a cozy nook-like spot.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • Pair a colorful pouf with a small side table for a footrest and a practical place for coffee.
  • A faux fur rug adds softness underfoot and will define the zone for your reading nook.
  • Place a chair, like a wingback or a birdcage style, by the window to capitalize on natural light.

Great For… any unused window corner in a living room, and if you love the eclectic boho look. This is also one of our favorite nook ideas for people living in a small home or working with a small living room since it doesn’t take up a lot of space but still has presence.

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A Classic Reading Nook

If you have a random window nook in your home, turn it into the perfect place for curling up with a good book. All you need are some pillows, baskets, greenery, and a rug to warm up the otherwise unused space.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • Lean into symmetry by hanging art on the walls and opting for accents in pairs.
  • Add layers of pillows to a deep window ledge to build out a comfy resting spot.
  • Play up a serene scene by keeping to a neutral palette of soft greens and natural hues.

Great For… anyone trying to maximize use out of an awkward alcove or window seat. We can picture this in a traditional elegant family house that has open areas along wide hallways.

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A Cozy Bedroom Spot

When it comes to bedroom essentials, a deep armchair that gives you an instant cozy reading nook ranks high on our list. Take after this bedroom and opt for a clean-lined modern armchair.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • A sheepskin is a must for a bedroom reading spot that’s all about chic comfort.
  • Baskets are a necessary storage piece for holding pillows, blankets, and books.
  • Focus on armchairs versus side chairs because you want this to be a curl-up corner.

Great For… those looking for stylish bedroom seating ideas that bring more comfort and function to the corners of the room. It’s also perfect if you love to read your favorite book before getting into bed at night.

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An Industrial-Chic Reading Nook

With bold elements like a large ornate floor mirror, a black faux fur rug, and a towering sculptural bookcase, this industrial-chic nook approach combines comfort with edgy design.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • A mid-century leather swivel chair makes for a cozy and design-forward anchor piece (AKA the perfect spot for lounging)
  • Bold details, like a gold mirror, lucite table, and brass floor lamp are key here.
  • A tall and sculptural floor lamp is both a style statement and a practical light for reading your book.

Great For… city-dwellers who love the urban-chic aesthetic or anyone living in a loft-like space. If you live in a city apartment with modern interior architecture, this mix of furnishings is perfect.

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A Modern Rustic Office Nook

For a modern rustic take on a reading spot, this home office corner has it all. The wingback chair, ottoman, drum accent table, and floor lamp lend big comfort while also setting a cool rustic vibe.

Essentials For this Reading Nook:

  • A high-contrast palette mixed with warm wood tones establishes the modern rustic vibe.
  • The statement rustic wood bookcase provides storage as well as major visual texture.
  • The fringed oval rug distinguishes this reading nook from the rest of the room.

Great For… any WFH office in need of a little cozy spot for unwinding and reading. If you have a shared home office, this is the ideal way to give both people a place to take breaks during the day.

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A Contemporary Reading Area

A common challenge is making sure your reading area feels separate but also part of the larger living space. This chic spot nails that balance with its contemporary-cool palette and furnishings.

Essential For this Reading Nook:

  • The gallery wall behind the armchair makes this reading spot feel like it’s own space.
  • A versatile pouf works wonders here as a footrest or extra seat for the larger living space.
  • A floor lamp with small eye-catching details is best here for a chic and practical accent.

Great For… a reading spot that’s clean-lined and seamlessly integrated into your living space. This approach is also perfect for open living and dining space in city apartments.

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An Under-Stair Reading Nook

The space under your stairs is full of design possibilities. Our favorite idea is to repurpose it into a cozy reading spot. All you need is a simple chair and a few practical storage accent pieces.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • Lay down an area rug to define this area as its own spot from the entry and living room.
  • Tucked away floating shelves add practical storage and keep clutter out of sight.
  • Instead of a floor lamp, hang a pendant light to maximize floor space.

Great For… homes with an awkward staircase alcove or corner that can fit a chair and some small accents. If you also work from home and need extra reading and storage space, this approach is for you.

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An Eclectic-Cool Reading Nook

An easy way to create your own reading space within a larger room is to decorate it as its own room, like this corner. The armchair, table, and layers of accents make it feel like its own space. If you have space, you could even swap in a chaise lounge for a more “home library” vibe.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • The foolproof pairing of an accent table and a pouf add instant comfort and versatile style.
  • Opt for an always-chic tufted armchair that can work with a range of eclectic accents.
  • Layering a sheepskin with an area rug sets off the space and adds a cozy, homey vibe.

Great For… those who want a place in the home to call their own within a larger living space. This can also work in a family room where one side is used for watching TV.

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A Traditional Reading Area

Sophisticated and refined, this corner for two is the definition of a classic reading nook. Perfect for a master bedroom corner, it’s as elegant as it is simple with a pair of elegant armchairs.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • Traditional swivel chairs make for a great matching set in any conversation area.
  • Don’t underestimate luxe accents like a faux fur or cowhide pillow that add bold texture.
  • Fewer but more traditional accents, like a bird print, add the most impact in this instance.

Great For… a master bedroom suite with room beyond the bed for lounging. Or this can also work as a second seating area in a spacious living room corner.

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A Nursery Reading Nook

If you’re a new parent, having a comfy and relaxing spot for nursing and napping in the nursery is non-negotiable. The best part is that it also functions as a cozy reading spot by default.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • A glider or rocker is a nursery anchor piece, so make sure it’s comfy for parent and child.
  • A pouf can easily be moved, is lightweight, and is non-hazardous for a baby’s room.
  • Keeping to a neutral color palette with earthy flairs adds a serene and calming feel.

Great For…  new parents who want an all-in-one nursery and kids room that’s made to handle all types of activities, from nursing to nap time.

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A Boho Window Nook

With any awkward nook or open space that’s too small to make a full room, turn it into a private reading space. Simply pull in a chair, add a rug and pouf, and layer in some lighting.

Essentials For This Reading Nook:

  • An area rug will help define the area as well as add color and soften up the wood floors.
  • An outdoor chair, like this rattan one, is an airy yet comfy alternative to armchairs.
  • Candles and a hanging pendant make for different sources of lighting that add ambiance.

Great For… a seating area that’s off to the side in the house or an empty space that can be transformed into a private hideaway within the home.

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Layout Guide: Two Sleepover-Ready Kid’s Room Ideas

kid's room layoutsIn our “Layout Guides” series you’ll find layout solutions for rooms of all shapes and sizes. Often the trickiest part of designing a space, finding the right layout for your room can be a challenge. This week we’re working with a small kid’s room with an awkward nook.

The Space: A 15×12 kid’s room with limited floor space and a quirky layout.

Style: Fun and playful

The Challenge: Maximizing the small space to create a fun kid’s room that can handle sleepovers and makes the best use of an awkward nook.

kid's room layout ideasIdea #1: Full Bed Styled for an Animal Enthusiast

Our first kid’s room layout incorporates a full bed to make use of open floor space. While it might seem like too much space for a younger tot, if your kiddo is right on the cusp, a full bed can be a great investment that your little one can continue to use as they get older.

This design features bright walls and vibrant splashes of color throughout the room to make the space more youthful and playful. Not to mention, this layout idea offers plenty of extra storage by way of the dresser and bookcase so you don’t have to worry about a cluttered room. So whether your kids are sleeping, studying, or just kicking back and reading, this setup has room for it all.

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Why this Kid’s Room Layout Works

The full bed makes great use of open floor space without disrupting the flow of the room. A full bed is a great size for your small sleeper to grow into over the years and plenty of room on the floor for when he or she has sleepovers. This setup also leaves space for a nightstand on one side of the bed and a desk below the window – the perfect study spot for a young scholar!

With a few special touches, the corner nook becomes a fun, cushy space to tuck away for lounging and reading. And the tall bookcase provides more clever storage space for books, toys and other items when they’re not in use.

awkward nook ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Need plenty of room for sleepovers.
  • Want a bed that your child can use over the years.
  • Hate clutter – there’s tons of extra storage.
  • Love having a distinct space for different activities such as reading, studying, sleeping, etc.

kid's room layout ideasIdea #2 – A Twin Bed with Room to Stargaze

Design idea #2 is all about making a warm and cozy room with lots of sleeping options for when friends stay over. The rich colors and layered rugs create a fun and welcoming enclave for a child. Kids will have plenty of space to play, stargaze and let their imaginations roam free in this open layout.

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Why this Kid’s Room Layout Works

This setup is great for maximizing floor space in the room. Having the twin bed tucked into corner leaves lots of room to play and lots of open space for sleeping bags. The trundle bed is a convenient and comfortable spot for sleepovers, too.

Turn the awkward nook into a cozy corner with a hanging chair and a bar cart for mobile storage. The round jute rug is also a great solve for the nook – it helps define and fill space. Plus, the layered rugs adds cozy warmth. The dark wall color doesn’t feel dark and gloomy because it is offset by the bright furniture, keeping the overall feel super warm and cozy.

awkward nook ideasThis Is Great If You…

  • Need a clutter-free, neat and tidy look.
  • Love dark and moody colors that feel super warm and inviting.
  • Want your child to have a cozy place to read, lounge and stargaze.
  • Love the warmth that textures and layers provide.
  • Need plenty of open space for play and sleepovers.

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